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How to Save Energy in Your Propane-Powered Home This Winter

Home warming

We’re well into heating season here in the Finger Lakes region, with temperatures already dropping into the single digits during a record- or near-record Thanksgiving week for much of our region.

As those temperatures drop, the heating bills in your propane-powered home will inevitably go up – but with a few changes to your home and lifestyle, you can have some say about how much they go up.

To save money in your propane-powered home this winter without sacrificing comfort for your family, follow these tips:

Heating equipment

  • Check your air filter regularly – A clogged filter will make your propane furnace overwork to do its job, which means higher bills for you; check it once a month and change it when needed.
  • Get routine maintenance – Small issues can quickly mushroom into efficiency-robbing problems, so always try to catch them early by servicing your propane heating system every year.
  • Weatherize – Add caulk and weather stripping around windows, doors and other openings to keep the cold air out and the warm air in.
  • Buy (and use!) a programmable thermostat – Turning your furnace down for eight hours a day can reduce your annual heating bill by as much as 10 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (D.O.E.) – often enough to pay for the thermostat the first year you use it.
  • Consider propane supplemental heat – A propane space heater will take the edge off a large or drafty room – and some of the heating load burden off your propane furnace.

Water heater

  • Drain your water heater – Drain your water heater twice a year to remove sediment; this will extend its life and increase its energy efficiency.
  • Lower the thermostat – Most propane water heater thermostats are set higher than needed to get the job done in your taps and appliances. The D.O.E. recommends a temperature setting of 120 degrees to balance efficiency and comfort.
  • Install low-flow regulators – Low-flow shower heads and aerators can cut your hot water usage in half without affecting the shower pressure.
  • Upgrade to propane – Switch from an electric water heater to a propane model and you will cut your bills by thirty percent or more – up to 50 percent if you switch to tankless model.
  • Use hot water appliances only when full – Fill your dishwasher or washing machine as much as possible to reduce the need for water heating.

Cooking

  • Check the flame – If the flame on your propane range burns yellow rather than blue, it is wasting energy and needs maintenance.
  • Check heat seals – Tears in the seal around your oven let heat escape.
  • Lower the flame – Most people cook with more flame than needed for today’s high conductivity cookware.
  • Use the right-sized burner for the job – Putting a small pot on a large burner can waste 40 percent of the burner’s heat.
  • Fill the oven when it’s on – Use all the space in your oven once you turn it on – you can always freeze portions for later.

Save money this fall and winter with propane equipment and propane services from Ehrhart Energy – contact us today for more tips on saving money this heating season!